Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Second Impressions of Bobby Valentine

Being co-author of a Red Sox blog has been challenging for me. As someone that really only paid attention to the Sox and not the rest of the league, it’s difficult for me to speak knowledgeably about some of the moves the Sox make just because I don’t have context for them. Take Bobby Valentine, for example. Was signing him as the Sox manager a good move? Bad move? A time-will-tell move?

I will say that I had my doubts only because I hated what I saw of him on ESPN – namely, an over tanned, overconfident blowhard (they’re ALL blowhards on those ESPN shows), and the thought of dealing with that rather than the humble, soft-spoken Tito rubs me the wrong way. And then I read Alex Speer’s article on

It’s a long, well researched article that dives into every aspect of the Bobby V. signing. And it’s filled with enough revelations about the man that I’ll now give him the benefit of the doubt. He obviously knows his baseball shit, and the fact that some of our coddled players didn’t want to play for him makes me wonder if this type of personality is just what this team needs. Regardless, the signing is only for two years, so if it doesn’t work out, we’ll be able to cut ties with him relatively painlessly.

No, now that enough time has passed, I find myself obsessing over how the deal went down, not the deal itself. My original impression was that the Front Office (read: Luccino) forced this signing upon Charrington after sabotaging the Sveum deal. Reading Speer’s article does put some of these fears to rest. I can see why some people feel that it’s an FO apploigia fueled by their relentless spinning of the truth (like most of the reporting at the Globe), but the very detailed timeline that Speer presents make me think that Cherington may not have been overruled after all. Speer spells out the reasons why Sveum wasn't hired, most of which don't involve the FO. Do some of these sound like excuses and rewriting history? Hell yes!  But it’s possible that things transpired just the way that they are depicted here. The reality is that the truth is probably somewhere in between, as acknowledged by Speer when he writes that "There may have been some truth to the portrayal of the idea that the team’s owners were the ones driving the Bobby V. bandwagon."

In short,  the article remains the best thing I’ve read about the Bobby V. signing. And while parts of it do read like a PR release concerned with spinning a tale of a well-oiled hiring process, most of it feels honest to me. Part of that might be the excellent writing in the article. Part of it might be my ignorance about how managers are typically hired. But I'm more willing to give  Bobby V. a shot than I did a month ago - after all, he's certainly saying all of the right things. But i'm still going to remain vigilant about falling for FO spin.

Now that things have settled down, what do you think of the Bobby Valentine signing? 

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